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Kyle Fries’ 11th Inning Double Gives Baseball 3-2 Victory over Southern Connecticut State to Close Out Myrtle Beach

Copyright 2017; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Kyle Fries against St. Thomas on March 9, 2017 at St. Thomas (Fla.).
Copyright 2017; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Kyle Fries against St. Thomas on March 9, 2017 at St. Thomas (Fla.).

The sports information office would like to thank Jeff Fries for all the updates and details during the Myrtle Beach games this weekend!

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - - The game needed 11 innings, but the Wilmington University baseball team came out of The Northeast Challenge with a 2-2 record, defeating Southern Connecticut State, 3-2, in extra innings on Sunday on Ebbetts Field at the Ripken Experience.

The Wildcats (2-2) used two pitchers in the 11 innings, getting a quality start from Zach Rumford before turning it over to Nick Grant. Rumford struck out seven in six innings, allowing one unearned run on eight hits while Grant earned the win in five innings of relief, allowing one unearned run on three hits.

The offense jumped out quickly over the Owls (2-2), scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. With two outs and Dakota Graham on third, Kendall Small hit an RBI single into right center for the quick 1-0 lead. After Small stole second base, Max Carney singled through the hole on the left side, chasing Small around third to lead 2-0.

The Owls got to Rumford in the third innings, as a two-out double to left, coupled with an error on the throw into the infield, allowed SCSU to get on the board, 2-1. Rumford then left two runners on in the fourth inning, before finishing out his 2018 debut with six innings of work.

Grant left a runner on second in his first inning of work in the seventh, but couldn't keep the Owls off the board in the eighth inning. A lead off error set the stage before a one-out single scored the tying run from second.

Both teams went in order in the ninth inning while the Owls received a two-out single in the 10th before Grant picked up an inning ending strike out to head to the 11th.

Small started the top of the 11th with a single into right field before he was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Grant put runners on the corners with a single deep down the line at third with only one out. Kyle Fries stepped in and launched a ball to center field, hitting the wall for an RBI double and the 3-2 lead. But the Owls were able to get out of the rest of the inning unscathed.

Grant returned to the mound and allowed a leadoff single, but Frank Nigro made a nice play on a sacrifice bunt attempt, gunning down the running heading to second base for the first out. Nigro then gunned down the would-be base stealer at second for the second out of the inning. Grant then induced a long fly ball out to Dakota Graham in center to close out the victory.

Christian Adorno, Small, and Grant led the offense with two hits each while Grant and Fries tallied doubles for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats return north for a week before returning to warmer weather for another week away from the Northeast. They will start their week in South Florida with a doubleheader against Stonehill on Sunday, March 4, at Lynn University in Boca Raton.